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Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: ph (---.rsvp.inetarena.com)
Date: January 08, 2002 01:23AM

For your list--D. H. Lawrence's poem "Self-Pity" was used in the movie GI Jane.

Self-Pity

I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 09, 2002 07:06PM

Thanks for remembering!

(I also snagged the two poems from IN THE BEDROOM for my list.)


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.sdsl.cais.net)
Date: January 09, 2002 08:52PM


I've been fretting over that Lawrence one. Reminds me of the red wheel barrow and white chickens verse of Williams, for some reason. Might not be a whole poem in the both.



so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.



I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.



No rhymes (itself/itself? nuh-uh), no meter. They have lines, I guess.

Both authors more than competent to write whatever they want to convey, but the wheel barrow observation seems to have no discernable message, and the frozen bird comparison falls short in logic - surely it is better to feel sorry for oneself than to drop frozen from a bough!

Anyone else bothered by this?


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: ph (---.rsvp.inetarena.com)
Date: January 09, 2002 11:23PM

I like the crisp image in the Williams poem, though why so much depends on the wheelbarrow and chickens is beyond me. I actually checked twice to be sure it was really, really D. H. Lawrence who had written the frozen bird poem!

Here's another itty, bitty poem with a bough in it, this by Ezra Pound.

In the Station at the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 18, 2002 08:55PM

The three poems have SHORTNESS in common, but not a lot more that I can see.


In the Station at the Metro

The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

    This is like a Haiku (or maybe it IS a Haiku, I won't
    argue the point): One image drawn to another.



I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

    This looks like an EPIGRAM to me: message
    plus illusration. I think it would be better
    without the first two lines.

======= =

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

    This is either the best or the worst poem ever--
    so much depends on who you ask.
    Either way, it's capturing a moment of life
    (seeing something, feeling something) without
    "message"or comparison.


Hugh, if you figure out what it was in the Lawrence that reminded you of the red wheelbarrow, do post again. Maybe just the poultry?


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.sdsl.cais.net)
Date: January 18, 2002 09:25PM


Just having re-read them again close together in time, likely triggered the comparison. Famous writers, both poems odd but often remembered by those who have seen them.

I heard an unconfirmed rumor that Wallace wrote his verse while visiting someone on the death bed. Where and who this was might have a bearing (on a farm for example, perhaps at an artist's house) that might help the interpretation.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Anna (---.mcc.wwwcache.ja.net)
Date: January 19, 2002 04:54PM

Hi,

I always ascribed my own meaning to the Lawrence poem. Would be glad if you can tell me how sensible it sounds...


I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

'A wild thing' is free, independent and beholden to none. Exactly the opposite of the bird in the gilded cage.

The bird in the gilded cage may fret and frown over many things...The poet cannot recall ever seeing a wild/free thing being sorry for itself in anyway...I guess being master of one's own fate wipes away the sense of helpless and frustration.. Being sorry is more often than not a situation where you are mourning about things beyond your control...


A small bird, out in the cold forest, in the middle of winter, will gladly drop frozen to the ground, without ever having felt 'I could have been better off in the gilded cage, warm and snug'....A bit like the stray dog who wont even think of bartering his dark alleys and uncomfortable existence for the leash and the muzzle....

Let me know your thoughts.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.sdsl.cais.net)
Date: January 19, 2002 09:14PM


Makes sense to me that way. And the converse is attractive as well: if you are feeling sorry for yourself, you are likely in a cage.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Marian-NYC (---.nyc1.dsl.speakeasy.net)
Date: January 21, 2002 06:22PM

Williams WAS a rural doctor, so it's quite reasonable to think he visited dying patients in their homes. It would be possible to guess at some connection between that deadbed experience and his connection to the wheelbarrow outside... but I have no strong hunch about it.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: Hugh Clary (---.sdsl.cais.net)
Date: January 21, 2002 09:47PM


Williams, of course. Wallace? I must be dixlesic.


But where to go to look? If we had the publication date and a biography, we might be able to solve a mystery that is yet unanswered. Worth a shot, surely, but I have not been able to uncover more about it since I first heard the rumor.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: gelusmoon (71.63.8.---)
Date: March 01, 2008 04:47PM

Hugh, the point to the poem about the self pity, in particular the frozen bird is not that it would be better to feel sorry for yourself than to freeze to death. Rather that instead of sitting, feeling sorry for yourself, you have the ability to change your situation. If you freeze to death, sitting on the bough it is because you have chosen to do so. Like the bird that could fly away if it wanted to but chooses not to. At the same time it does not feel sorry for itself, because it is free. It is a wild thing and is not bound to the branch, it chooses to stay. If you find yourself in a situation in your life where things have gone wrong, you have a choice. You can either stay or go, leave things the way they are or make that change. Either way, you have the choice because you as well are free but if you choose to stay there in the situation that causes you grief, pain or anxiety then you shouldn't feel sorry for yourself because it was your choice. Sometimes poetry isn't meant to picked apart in such a fastidious way. Whether or not it has rhyme, or time or logic to you, but rather how it touches those that understand the underlying message, hidden in subtlety and simple grace. The perfect example of the meaning behind this poem was perfectly evident in it's use in the movie G.I. Jane. In the movie those soldiers were there by their own choice. They suffered greatly, in constant pain and exhaustion and had no one to blame but themselves. At any time they could have rang the bell, gone home and be done with it. They chose to be there and therefore should not feel sorry for themselves, should not have or show, self pity or for that matter have pity upon those around them.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: les712 (68.116.83.---)
Date: March 01, 2008 05:50PM

Sorry GM, but Hugh hasn't been here for years.

Les


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: slm1202000@yahoo.com (24.72.168.---)
Date: July 25, 2008 11:16PM

I completely approve of what you said. The underlying concept is about freedom. Every door that opens is an opportunity to warm yourself by the fire, to be content with everday, and be chained through complacency to a lack of liberty. A bird on a bough will fall dead before losing its freedom. It will die free rather than feel it suffered to be warm. If you never enter to be tamed, you never misunderstand what it means to be on that bough. This is the value of freedom. Liberty comes without self-pity but not without pain or sacrifice.

That is why it is ironically actually sometimes read to U.S. Seals during training.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: IanAKB (210.84.50.---)
Date: August 02, 2008 10:49PM

That is why it is ironically actually sometimes read to U.S. Seals during training

slm, when you say "ironically", is your point that a U.S. Seal in training is not someone who has any liberty to enjoy?

Ian

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/02/2008 10:50PM by IanAKB.


Re: Hey Marian-NYC (poem in a movie)
Posted by: OhDear (63.25.202.---)
Date: September 10, 2008 01:40AM

Dylan Thomas' poem "Do not go gentle into that good night" was in Back To School with Rodney Dangerfield....




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